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Netflix confirmed on Friday that Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning), LeVar Burton (Roots, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Reading Rainbow), and Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar films, House) are starring in the English dub of Studio Ponoc‘s anime film of A.F. Harrold and Emily Gravett’s The Imaginary novel.

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Netflix

The English dub features:

Ian James Corlett, A.F. Harrold, Cassandra Lee Morris, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, Christopher Swindle, Fred Tatasciore, and Kari Wahlgren provide additional voices.

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Netflix

Netflix will exclusively stream the film worldwide on July 5.

Bloomsbury Publishing released A.F. Harrold‘s original The Imaginary novel in 2001 with illustrations by Emily Gravett. The publisher describes the novel:

Rudger is Amanda Shuffleup’s imaginary friend. Nobody else can see Rudger–until the evil Mr. Bunting arrives at Amanda’s door. Mr. Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumor has it that he even eats them. And now he’s found Rudger.

Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. He needs to find Amanda before Mr. Bunting catches him–and before Amanda forgets him and he fades away to nothing. But how can an unreal boy stand alone in the real world?

The film’s Japanese cast includes:

Yoshiyuki Momose (“Life Ain’t Gonna Lose” short in Ponoc’s Modest Heroes anime anthology, Ni no Kuni film, Ponoc’s Olympic Games shortTomorrow’s Leaves“) directed the film. Yoshiaki Nishimura — a producer on numerous Studio Ghibli films, as well as Ponoc films Mary and The Witch’s Flower and Modest Heroes — produced the film.

A Great Big World (“Say Something”) featuring Rachel Platten (“Fight Song”) performed the theme song “Nothing’s Impossible.”

The film opened in Japan on December 15 with the title Yaneura no Rudger (Rudger in the Attic). The film earned 68,169,730 yen (about US$478,300) in its first three days.

Studio Ponoc delayed the film last year from its original summer 2022 release date due to “new challenges” stemming from the film’s production methods and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Netflix previously announced that it has acquired the global streaming rights to the film. The company also revealed that it has created a multi-film partnership to bring animated features from Studio Ponoc exclusively to its service. The film will compete at this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival, and the film will also have an Oscar-qualifying run.

Studio Ponoc‘s first feature film Mary and The Witch’s Flower opened in Japan in July 2017. GKIDS and Fathom Events opened the anime in U.S. theaters in January 2018.

Sources: Press releases, Netflix‘s X/Twitter account, Ponoc

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Hayley Atwell, LeVar Burton, Kal Penn Star in English Dub for Ponoc’s The Imaginary Film – News